Between a dinner here and a party there, the new year has finally arrived.
Yes, because Christmas dinners and parties are undoubtedly part of the festive tradition. And yes, every year we promise ourselves not to over-do it, not to cook too much food as there is no need for it, as the important thing is to spend time together….and then, well, we also worry about our weight creeping up.
Every year instead, we do end up eating way too much in the company of others: are we hopeless? No, we just get swept up by the Christmas atmosphere. And that’s lovely! Imagine how sad a diet version of Christmas Day lunch, or New Year’s Eve dinner would be! Come on…we are Italians after all!
Ah, traditions….abandon them at your peril! And talking about traditions, today we want to talk about a typical U.S. custom: the baby shower! Maybe some of you have already heard some friends talk about it, or maybe you have seen it played out in an American sitcom: literally it means a shower of gifts for the mum-to-be.
And in fact that’s exactly what it is: a party for the expecting mum.
Even if this isn’t a European tradition, over the years it has started becoming more popular this side of the ocean too. It is a lovely idea, in all honesty: the party usually is organised for the first-born, around the eight month of pregnancy, when the mum-to-be is on maternity leave from work, less stressed and by now more relaxed about how the pregnancy is going.
This is also the time when mums-to-be start thinking about things they need for their baby: pushchair, crib, nursery furniture, clothing. It is a moment to gather best friends and family around, to receive warm support and affection from our loved ones. If you know a friend who’s expecting, it could be fun to organise this special party! Yes, as it is usually friends who organise everything. But where do you start?
First of all you need an invitation, which obviously needs to be personalised according to the gender of the baby. If you want to be creative, you can make invitation cards yourself at home: online you can find loads of ideas (have a look on Pinterest for example) or, for those of you with a less fervid imagination, you can download templates too.
Choose what colour the decorations will be, so that everything has the same theme and you don’t end up with a patchwork of shades, which is not a very smart look. Pink and blue are classics, but nobody says you can’t be different: you can choose lilac or fuchsia for girls, and green and yellow for boys, for example.
Colours are important when it comes to food too. Surely you wouldn’t let guests and the mum-to be go hungry, would you? Baby shower tradition usually requires:
- cupcakes decorated with icing
- cake pops, balls of sponge cake covered with chocolate and coloured sugar
- meringue or caramel cake, both very easy to prepare
It might be a good idea to also consider some party bags to hand to guests as they leave. By the way, when we say guests we are usually talking about ladies, as normally only women are invited to a baby shower – the mum-to-be’s friends and relatives. No one is saying however that the opposite sex cannot be invited (the dad-to-be to be for example), quite the contrary!
Going back to party bags, here too you can opt for do-it-yourself creations, to keep costs down: biscuits, sweets, handwritten notes featuring quotes you particularly like. Something that is a keepsake of the day for you and the guests!
And, unmissable in any good baby shower, the famous nappy cake!